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2006-09-18 11:57
With 10 points still the difference between BMW's defending champion Anthony Taylor and 2006 championship leader Leeroy Poulter (Nissan), the Zwartkops outing has just made the 3-car BMW Van der Linde Racing Team more confident of a good showing in Port Elizabeth.

The first PE event of the season in April this year was disastrous with first corner incidents in both races sending cars scurrying back to the pits and into retirement.

This will undoubtedly be in the minds of everyone this weekend, but the championship battle between Taylor and Poulter will have race fans and spectators on the edge of their seats.

BMW Van der Linde Racing are now sporting three BMW 330i racing machines to foot the equal number of Nissan 350Zs, which should also increase the excitement.

"Zwartkops turned out excellent after 2 poles and a good win in race 1," said Taylor, who has just returned from Australia after a surprise visit to his mother on her 60th birthday.

Taylor was on his way to a certain double victory at Zwartkops after a good start in the second race. "I was leading comfortably and then on lap 7, coming out of turn 4, I went wide and hit a rut with the left rear wheel causing the rim to crack and resulting in a flat tyre," he recalls.

"I have a good feeling about the championship, but I don't want to count my chickens before they've hatched," he said.

Taylor will again be supported by brothers Etienne and Shaun van der Linde.

Etienne scored two second place finishes at Zwartkops, which made him the overall winner on the day, but his car suffered from temperature problems after racing too close to the Nissan of Leeroy Poulter in the second race. "We have made some changes to the cooling of the engine to try and keep the water temperature down in those sorts of close racing conditions.

"I think it is important to finish the season with some good solid results and help Anthony to try and win the championship. The best I can do at this stage is to secure third place," he said.

"Returning to P.E. should be interesting as we raced there competitively earlier in the year without the power gains we have made since East London. This should put us in a strong position. Hopefully we can have a good weekend's racing unlike the previous disaster in PE."

The third Van der Linde Racing BMW will be in the hands of Shaun van der Linde who has come out of retirement to support the team's championship efforts.

"We'll see how it goes," he said. "I just hope I can help support Anthony in his title chase." Issued by Quickpic on behalf of BMW Motorsport South Africa.

Inside Wheels24

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